indexPsychiatric disorders in general, and major depression and anxiety disorders in particular, account for a large burden of disability, morbidity and premature mortality worldwide. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have a range of neurobiological activities in modulation of neurotransmitters, anti-inflammation, anti-oxidation and neuroplasticity, which could contribute to psychotropic effects. [1]

Vitamin A and Immune Specificity

Thursday, 22 October 2015 by

eji201570050-gra-0001Homeostasis — literally ‘standing still’ — describes the mechanisms by which all biological systems maintain stability. In effect this is the position at which human health is maintained and may also be described as a homeostatic set point, in which as circumstances change so does the set point. In simple parlance the idea that someone may be in a stable state of homeostasis but one that induces illness is a concept still developing. In effect all illness generates a change in homeostasis but not all changes in homeostasis results in illness.

header-3b910cae-74f1-4559-8cef-25ede860f04eAcross the world there are chronic diseases affecting the lives of many, most of which are preventable or modifiable by appropriate lifestyle changes. Yet currently politicians are unwilling to legislate change, to force behaviours that in turn diminish the costs to the individual and to society.

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cov200hConcerns about mortality and these days morbidity settle on people’s shoulders at different times and with different weights. Some are blissfully immune to risk association with decisions and others become frozen into indecision because of fears that manifest as a result of exposure to dubious or credible sources.

Today there seems a relentless list of non-modifiable risks that provide challenges to a healthy and vibrant long life, from terrorism, economic collapse, wars, infection, pollution, agrichemicals and more. A whole industry is set up to disseminate these concerns in a relentless barrage of news, insight, opinion and at times hysteria.

cov200hPublished in the Journal Allergy and Clinical Immunology July 2015, a research paper explores the relationship between anti-inflammatory lipids in food and risk of allergic responses.[1]

The Karolinska Institute in Sweden is a world famous research centre, and scientists there explored the notion that increasing omega three fatty acids through dietary ingestion may confer benefit in a subset of people, chosen by age. Specifically they wanted to see if eating oily fish would reduce the risk of rhinitis in school children – for those of you with school children of your own, you know already that this has an effect on them, and you!

BJNThe British Journal of Nutrition published a review paper in July 2015, exploring the relationship between inflammation, diet and health. Whilst this is neither new nor novel, the momentum is becoming clear. There is a steady awareness in research that the consumption of certain foods and the absence of others contributes to a provocative change in defence molecules with the result that many of the non-communicable diseases that blight western health care can develop and thrive.

This open access article is well worth saving for those refresh reads.[1]

The importance of chronic low-grade inflammation in the pathology of numerous age-related chronic conditions is now clear. An unresolved inflammatory response is likely to be involved from the early stages of disease development.

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F1.mediumIn conjunction with the release of the JBS3 calculator the journal Heart published an open access paper looking as some of the established approaches to reducing cardiovascular risk.[1]

Whilst there are a great number of conventional strategies summarised in this review, it does not explore some of the more integrative approaches that are being increasingly developed to try to meet and manage the problems with CVD – however, it does provide a comprehensive range of lifestyle and medical interventions.

On that basis this is a useful base document that is related to the JBS3 calculator and current medical recommendations.

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PR-cover-v78_n2.inddFor some time now there has been a growing body of supportive evidence that the relationship between the bacteria in our digestive tract and our central nervous system may not be as tenuous as some may like to think. In a recent study published in Pediatric Research[1] a retrospective review of data in a small but informative group of children, indicates there may be a positive relationship between the use of a well studied probiotic and reduced risk of developing neuropsychiatric illness.

Vitamin A Recap

Thursday, 16 July 2015 by

journal-nutrition-imageA vitamin is a substance that makes you ill if you don’t eat it.” (Albert Szent-Gyorgyi, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, 1937).

Vitamins are natural components of foods and are organic compounds distinct from fat, carbohydrates and proteins. Vitamin A is the generic descriptor for compounds with the qualitative biological activity of retinol. Unlike beta-carotene, vitamin A is not an antioxidant and its benefit is related to its intimate relationship with immune reactions.

The effect of vitamin A on immune function is wide-reaching and its deficiency appears to affect immunity in several ways. Both the innate and adaptive immune responses are affected by lack of vitamin A.

home_coverA group studied the effects of apples in a mouse model to determine if there was a positive consequence in the changes related to bacterial communities and inflammation markers.[1]

Apples are rich in polyphenols, which provide antioxidant properties, mediation of cellular processes such as inflammation, and modulation of gut microbiota. In this study we compared genetically engineered apples with increased flavonoids [myeloblastis transcription factor 10 (MYB10)] with nontransformed apples from the same genotype, “Royal Gala” (RG), and a control diet with no apple.